September 30, 2006

Lead actor chosen to play 'Iron Man'

Well, it's official. Looks like Robert Downey Jr is going to be Iron Man. Read the latest from Reuters:

Robert Downey, Jr. is suiting up to star in "Iron Man," a superhero movie based on the Marvel Comics character.

Jon Favreau is directing the Paramount Pictures release. Filming is slated to begin in February in Los Angeles.

Downey will portray Tony Stark, a billionaire industrialist and genius inventor who is kidnapped and forced to build a devastating weapon. Using his intelligence and ingenuity, Stark instead builds a high-tech suit of armor and escapes captivity. Upon his return to the U.S., he uncovers a plot with global implications and must don his armor and protect the world.

The comic debuted in the 1960s, and Iron Man's origin involved Stark being a prisoner of the Viet Cong. The movie version will be set in today's geopolitical climate.

Budgeted at more than $100 million, it marks the first feature film to be produced independently by Marvel Entertainment, which previously licensed its characters, such as "Spider-Man" and "X-Men," to other studios.

Marvel president of production Kevin Feige said the filmmakers looked for the best
actor to embody the character.

"The Marvel characters are not just about how high they jump or how fast they fly, they're about their character flaws," Feige said. "They're about their inner demons. They're about the struggles that they go through between being a man and being a hero."

Downey, who has battled his fair share of inner demons, worked hard to get the role, getting in shape and even growing a goatee like the one Stark sports in the comic books.

"In every casting announcement we've done, people in their mind's eye have their own view of it and let us know about it. We're used to it," Feige said. "The point is, we looked at everybody, and we found the best person for the role. It's as confident a casting move as we've ever done. The proof will be in the pudding, but he is Tony Stark."

Downey returns to theaters on November 10 in the Diane Arbus bipic "Fur" opposite Nicole Kidman.

September 28, 2006

'Hard Candy' - not for everybody

'Hard Candy' is not for everybody. First of all, there are only 2 actors in the whole movie. Then of course there's the taboo subject of paedophile and the dangers of meeting people through the internet.

32-year old photographer Jeff has been chatting online with 14-year old Haley for three weeks. They decide to meet up at a cafe. Then Jeff takes Haley back to his house. But soon the twist of the story explodes and Haley turns the table on Jeff as she informs him that she knows he's a paedophile and intends to punish him. She drugs him and ties him to a chair. Jeff is forced to undergo intensive questioning from Haley, including being set up for castration. The tension mounts to a peak as the two characters uncover aspects of each other.

As I mentioned, the movie is not for everybody, especially those expecting to see an action-packed thriller like Saw. It will probably work better as a play rather than a movie. Some parts gets really dry as the conversations between the two characters drag on. The twist at the end was not really compelling either.

The two actors are pretty good though, especially 19-year old Ellen Page who plays the 14-year old Haley. She really creeps me out in her role!

I guess one of the things that you learn from this movie is to be careful meeting people over the internet. Guys beware! You never know the chick that you are chatting with might be a serial killer!

September 20, 2006

One of the best monster movie...

I wrote about the Korean movie 'The Host' a few months ago. Since reading about its release, I was very much looking forward to watching it. However there was no news of its immediate release in our local cinemas. I was in Bangkok last week and was so excited when I found out that it was showing there.

The synopsis is as follows:
Hee-bong is the owner of a small food stand in the Han River Citizen's Park. Gang-du is one of his three children, a man who seems a bit slow mentally and whose one motivating strength is a devotion to his schoolage daughter Hyun-seo. Rounding out the family is Nam-joo, an amateur competitive archer and her brother Nam-il (Park Hae-il), who is unemployed and always gets drunk.

When the creature snatches the young Hyun-seo away, the family stands together fight the monster and rescue her before she becomes fish food.

If this movie had been produced in Hollywood, you would probably get a team of military guys fighting the monster. However the director goes beyond stereotypes and plays out the monster story in a totally new and unique way focusing on the strength of the family. The story combines a little bit of comedy, drama and thriller. And I tell you there are definitely some scenes which will make you jump out of your seat!

The monster effect is one of the best I've seen, even from Hollywood. The movement of the creature is very nicely done, especially when it swings from the bridge with its tail.

I find some parts of the movie too draggy. I wish they would show more of the monster. Even then, this is one of the best monster movies I've seen. For your info, in just over a month of its release, this movie has set a new record in Korean box office with viewers over 12.4 millions.

September 14, 2006

DOA - lots of action and hot babes

I went to the premier of 'DOA: Dead or Alive' last night without really knowing anything about the movie, except that it's got some hot babes. I understand that it's based on a video game, but I've never played it before. I was quite dissapointed with the outcome because it's just a rehash of the Mortal Kombat/Street Fighter genre. At least the plot in Mortal Kombat was interesting.

It's all about a group of people who are invited to an island to fight each other, and the ultimate winner gets $10 mil.

One of the users in wrote 'Teenage boys are going to love it'. I think not only teenage boys, but boys of all ages will watch this movie if only for the sexy kick-ass babes...and director Cory Yuen probably wanted it that way because there's lots of close-up shots of the ladies' boobs, bottoms and legs.

The fight sequences are OK but it's nothing we haven't seen before in countless chinese movies like Hero, Fearless, House of Flying Dagger etc etc.

At the end I thought it was just a silly, cheesy movie with lots of action and hot babes and nothing much else. Anyway, if I want to watch a kick-ass chick flick, I'd rather watch a rerun of Charlie's Angels.

September 7, 2006

First pics of Suri

After much anticipation, the pics of baby Suri Cruise are finally out.

Borat - so damn funny

Borat is a fictitious Kazakstani reporter created by comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. In this hilariously offensive movie, Borat travels from his primitive home in Kazakhstan to the US to make a documentary. On his cross-country road-trip, Borat meets real people in real situations with hysterical consequences.

The following is an interview conducted by with Borat himself:

What are some of your personal favorite movies?
My favourites movies is Robot Cop. Womanman Doubtfire, Little Lord Fontelroy, Transsibierskiy Ekspress 2, Gerald McGuire and sex comedy The Accused.

Who are your favorite male and female movie stars and why?
I very much like Kazakh film hero Viktor Hotelier (you probably know him from blockbusters movie Almaty Summer). I also very much like the new James Bond, Roger Moore. I like female cartoon Kazakh superbhero by name ''Astounding Woman.'' She have amazing strength that she use to pull a full-sized plough for up to 42 hours without food or water.

As a TV journalist, which American TV journalists do you admire most and why?
I like very much Barbara Walters. She is unlike any Kazakh woman I have seen, she have no hair on her face or chest, and her teeth grow only on inside of her mouth.

What is the biggest difference between working with a major Hollywood movie studio like Fox and working in the film and TV industry in Kazakhstan?
Kazakh films is more realistics. In Hollywood movie The Gladiator, it obvious the tigers was not actual eat those criminal, whereas in Kazakh movie Angry Snakes on a Gypsy Boat, over 85,000 extras was actually attacked and finished by the pythons. I think Hollywoods can learn from this and be prepare to spend extra money for make movies look real.

Also rating system of two countries is a slight different. In my country you must be at least 18-year-old for watch scenes containing uncaged women, and for view explicit sexytime you must be at least 3.
What do you think the people back home in Kazakhstan will think of the movie?
This movie have already been release in Kazakhstan and was blockbusterings! It open simultaneous on all seven of our country's screens and take top spot from Hollywood movie King Kong — which had been number one film in Kazakhstan ever since it was release in 1933.

What would Americans be most surprised to learn about life in Kazakhstan?
That it actual very modern country that have many things similar to U.S. and A. For examples, we have event exact the same as your Super Bowls — only slight difference is, instead of 80,000 sportfans who gather in arena, it is 100,000 shepherds who come down from the Tinshein Hills and gather in field and when they get there instead of look on footballs game, they drink fermented horse urine and then dig a big hole and fill it with dogs and Uzbekis and then throw potatoes on them for two days. Then they eat a soup made from spicy vegetables and then return to the hills.

We also have daytime game shows very like your Jeopardys — our most popular one have name ''Gypsy Bingo'' where we put numbers on back of 20 gypsies. Contestant have to bet on which number will manage to reach other side of minefield.
I would like invite people who read this to come visit Kazakhstan. It now democratic, free nation, with cleanest prostitutes in all of Central Asia (except of course for Turkmenistan's). Also it have world-class shopping at new supermall ''Almaty Shop City,'' which is actual built on three levels! They connected by Central Asia's first electric staircase (which did NOT swallow and grind those two schoolchildrens).

How do you think being a movie star will change your life? Are your friends and family afraid you'll ''go Hollywood''?
I do not think this a problem as I already number four most famous person in Kazakhstan behind our glorious leader, Premier Nazarbayev, pop star Billy Sexcrime, ex-Olympic gymnast Lily Utmarkan (she now work in Kazakh State Circus, where she famous for putting one foot in mouth while other is in her [CENSORED BY KAZAKHSTAN BUREAU OF COMMUNICATION AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS]) — and acting chimpanzee ''Jonny the Monkey'' (he dress like Humphrey Bogarts and smoke cigarette, but very sadly he recent die making monkey Evel Knievel movie. He was intend to jump swimming pool on motorcycle, but he crash in water and drown because his hands had been glued too strong on handlebars. Goodbye, Jonny — we miss you).

If you could bring one thing from the U.S. back to Kazakhstan, what would it be and why?
I would like bring back all the best friends I make on my travels. I like you very much. Please call me in Kazakhstan and we will make chitchat on telephones. My number is Kazakhstan 142. Chenquieh.
If you think this is funny, check out the following websites. They are just simply hilarious.